Sexual Exploitation Charges in Arizona
Arizona has some of the strictest laws on the books for sex crimes. If you are charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Minor pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 13-3553 you will be facing a Class 2 Felony.
If the State charges you with Sexual Exploitation of a Minor for child pornography it must prove that you knowingly did one of the following:
(1) Distributed, transported, exhibited, received, sold, purchased, electronically transmitted, possessed, or exchanged any visual depiction in which a minor is engaged in exploitive exhibition or other sexual conduct
(2) Recorded, filmed, photographed, developed, or duplicated any visual depiction in which a minor is engaged in exploitive exhibition or other sexual conduct
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“Exploitive exhibition” is defined by A.R.S. § 13-3551(5) as the “actual or simulated exhibition of the genitals or pubic or rectal areas of any person for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer.”
“Sexual conduct” is defined by A.R.S. § 13-3551(10) as a broad range of conduct that includes, amongst other things, sexual intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, masturbation for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer, sadomasochistic abuse for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer, defecation or urination for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer, and bestiality.
Punishment for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor – Child Pornography
The punishment for child pornography convictions for violations of the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor statute vary based on the age of the minor in the images, but the harshest punishment is reserved for those depicting minors 14 years old or younger. If that is the case, then the offense is considered a Dangerous Crime Against Children, and each charge which you are convicted of requires a mandatory prison sentence. That prison sentence must be a minimum of 10 years, and a maximum of 24 years, and is a flat-time sentence, meaning you serve every day of that sentence. In addition, each sentence for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor must be served consecutively to any other dangerous crime against children; for example, if you are convicted of three counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor for possessing three images of child pornography, you face, at a minimum, 30 flat years in prison.
If the minor was between 15 and 17 years old, then a person with no criminal history faces a potential punishment of 3 to 12.5 years in prison, or probation which can last up to lifetime. If you have allegable prior felony convictions then you will not be eligible for probation and the prison range will increase, depending on the age and number of your prior convictions.
Conviction for any violation of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor for child pornography requires registration as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
What Can Be Done and What Defenses Are Available
First, if you receive unsolicited visual depiction of child pornography or other depictions involving sexual exploitation of a minor, you need to know that it is an affirmative defense to prosecution that you report the discovery of that depiction, pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-3559. If you receive unsolicited visual depictions of child pornography or sexual exploitation of a minor you should still contact a sex crimes attorney to help you make the report to law enforcement and ensure that everything is appropriately documented.
It is critical in these cases for an attorney to begin working on your case at the earliest stages possible, even before charges are officially brought against you. If you have computers or phones ceased and are questioned by law enforcement about child pornography or sexual exploitation of a minor, now is the time. A good sex crimes attorney needs to begin building a case right away to present evidence that contradicts the state’s case. That includes evidence that shows you did not knowingly possess the items, for example by showing that multiple people had access to a computer.
Often times these cases require consultation with computer experts. Our attorneys have the right connections to make sure that the appropriate expert is hired to get the answers for your case.
An attorney will also look at the arresting agency’s work to make sure that they appropriately acted in handling evidence and in respecting your constitutional rights. A violation of your Miranda rights may lead to suppression of statements you made. The validity of the search warrant may be challenged if there is a flaw in its affidavit.
Serious Crimes Require Serious Defense
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